Wyatt Tee Walker

Civil Rights Pioneer, Aide to Dr. King, Baptist Minister. Born in Brockton, Massachusetts, in 1929, he stated unapologetically that his father was a “race man,” a pastor and his role model.  He reportedly said, “My father reacted to anything that smacked of discrimination or prejudice and I was under that influence.  He was my first hero.”  Walker grew up in New Jersey where he attended primary and secondary schools in Merchantville.

  He displayed early traces of his father’s “race” influence and it went with him throughout his professional life.  He attended the Virginia Union University in 1946 where he earned his undergraduate and divinity degrees.  He also holds a doctorate degree from Rochester Theological Center and did graduate studies and research at the University of Ife in Nigeria and the University of Ghana.


Walker became involved in many organizations that were fighting for civil rights.  He served as president of the local branch of the N.A.A.C.P., the state director of the Congress of Racial Equality (C.O.R.E.) and founded the Petersburg Improvement Association – an organization patterned and named after the Montgomery Improvement Association.  In 1958, Walker joined the board of directors of King’s fledging organization Southern Christian Leadership Conference (S.C.L.C.) and built support for it throughout the state of Virginia.


Walker is also internationally known as a human rights activist, an exhibiting artist, a composer and authority of Black church music, a church historian and an author of many books.  Rev. Jesse Jackson has reportedly referred to Walker as “Harlem’s Renaissance Man” for his varied careers, multiple gifts and talents. http://bit.ly/YeMZ5W


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Last modified on 03/21/2019

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